What do I have to prove to establish that a health care provider committed malpractice?

There are four elements that will need to be established to prove a case of medical malpractice.  First, there must be a physician-patient relationship.  Second, you must prove that the practitioner breached the standard of care.  What is a breach of the standard of care?  It means that the physician failed to act as a reasonably prudent physician in the same or similar circumstances.  Oregon law regulates the practice of medicine.  See Chapter 677 of the Oregon Revised Statutes.  https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/ors/ors677.html  


ORS 677.095 sets forth the duty of care for physicians in Oregon:  “A physician licensed to practice medicine or podiatry by the Oregon Medical Board has the duty to use that degree of care, skill and diligence that is used by ordinarily careful physicians in the same or similar circumstances in the community of the physician or a similar community.”  When physicians fall below this expectation, that is failing to meet the standard of care.  A breach of the standard of care must be proved by expert testimony, which means that in order to prove your case you will have to retain another physician who practices in the same area to review the medical records and make a determination as to whether the allegedly negligent physician breached his or her duty of care.  


If you can establish that a physician breached the standard of care, you then must be able to prove causation and damages — that the harm you suffered was as a result of the negligence of the physician and that you suffered a harm that you would not have suffered otherwise.  Proving causation can prove to be a challenge in some complex circumstances.  


Your attorney will handle retaining the medical experts necessary to proceed in your case.